Video transcript: Matthew Browne on the findings of the study into gambling harm

[Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation logo displays]

[Title: Gambling Harm Study 2016]

[A coin is inserted into slot, a hand picks up a betting slip, an individual buys cashes in his twenty dollar note for dollar coins, poker machine spins]

[Dr Matthew Browne, Central Queensland University sits in front of a dark background]

The objective of our study was really to find out how much gambling-related harm was happening in Victoria. How bad gambling is really, for the individual person and also for the community as a whole.

[Looks out large window over city]

This is the first time that anyone has applied this, kind of, public health approach to quantifying the amount of gambling harm. It's the first time in Australia, and the first time in the world.

[Matthew and Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation researcher Helen Miller view computer screen]

We found that to have gambling problems is quite similar to experiencing major depression or having a moderate alcohol-related disorder. So, those conditions are actually pretty bad.

[Pie chart split into three sections: Low-Risk 50.25%, Moderate-Risk 34.5%, Problem Gamblers 15.2% displays on computer screen]

Someone in the low risk category of gambling problems is experiencing much less harm than someone with full-blown gambling problems, however, the important thing to be aware of is that these people are far more prevalent.

[People walking on busy street.

Text: There are approx. 35,000 problem gamblers

Low risk gamblers contribute 50% of all gambling harm

Only 15% contributed by problem gamblers.]

The best way to understand our research is in a comparison to alcohol. I think we all understand that alcohol-related harm is not restricted to alcoholics. That alcohol-related harm can happen to anyone of us through... without necessarily being addicted to alcohol. I think the same is true of gambling.

We found that harms from gambling fell into seven main domains.

[Matthew sits and speaks in front of a dark background which is shown intermittently, the remaining time the domains of harm he states are listed on-screen against a background of gambling activities.]

Financial harm, relationship dysfunction, conflict, emotional or psychological distress, decrements to health, cultural harm, reduced performance at work or study and criminal activity.

[Matthew sits and speaks in front of a dark background which is shown intermittently, the remaining time the types of harm he states are listed on-screen against a background of gambling activities.]

There are different types of harm that occur depending on the stage of gambling problems. Firstly, we have general harms.

Now these could be quite moderate or minor harms that could occur to anyone at any time, such as having trouble paying one's bills.

Additionally, we have crisis harms … and these are the harms we tend to see arising when things are at a critical stage. And often at a point when someone is starting acknowledge that they have a serious problem and are, perhaps, seeking help.

The third category of harms we identified was legacy harms. Now, these are harms that keep on happening, if you like, or persevere after the gambling problems are resolved. What this study has told us is that significant harms are accruing to people who are not problem gamblers, who are in the low-risk and moderate-risk categories. So, we need to shift our focus a little bit and look at intervening earlier and reducing harms for that much wider group of people who are not problem gamblers.

[Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation logo displays]

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